I left home with a sore heart. I would have stayed with my mother after my father died, but she didn’t want me. She said there wasn’t enough work for me to do in the house.
My brothers Martin and Michael took everything she had in her larder, but I was their worst burden. They didn’t want me tagging along. When they sat down to eat, they wouldn’t share their food. I went to another tree and wept.
“Another time you won’t be so lazy and you’ll bring food for yourself,” said Martin.
“You’re a nice pair,” I snapped. “You talk of seeking your fortunes so as not to be a burden on our mother, and you begin by carrying off all the food she has in her house!”
They were shocked and I knew they would find a way to get back at me. I swallowed my tears but I wouldn’t swallow my words.
Honest Little Jack in Three Treasures of the Giants, Orange Fairy Book. Painting by James Abbott McNeill Whistler.